Sonnet Series: “Wombwell Cemetery” by Paul Brookes

Flaxman

“A simple gentleman, the best of sports
men, and a very gallant soldier.” Your
superior F. A. M. Webster, sports
chronicler and soldier told what he saw.

Strength of your arm lob a training grenade
in an exercise seventy five yards
of a Bull Ring. Heard song your violin made.
Summer Olympics athlete field and track.

Your Somme bomber battalion got caught
leading way home exposed in the open,
between the wires. Ambulanceman, Sam sought
but never found his dead brother again.

Your mam died when you were two, her gravestone
now yours, a simple commemoration.

Struck Mr. Kay

5.20 a.m. on Tuesday it were.
I were walking to work through Wombwell woods,
when a great storm overtook us, fair
surprised us watta comin' dahn. I stood

wi Mr. Kay under a beech tree, known not
to be struck by leetnin. Not five minutes
when we were all skittled. Tell thee I'd not
heard crack, nor seen leetnin afore hit us.

Mark Kay were assistant colliery checkweighman at Wombwell. Awake and wick
first I went to gamekeeper's house for to see,
fetch help, on return. found his soul had flit.

Reet sorrowful for his wife. Distraught. No money comin. In God's hands her sorrow.

Fallen Angel

An angel once stood there, she was certain. 
They found its face buried in graveyard soil, 
body snapped off of its pedestal, one 
wing broken off. No record how despoiled. 

One stab into ground with a metal pole found her. Angels in the Bible are male. 
A child's face, a new wing, regains her role 
Head bowed, one hand clasps a wrist whose white pale

palm holds a wreath. The only angel 
in the graveyard. Disinterred and repaired. 
Children enjoy the graveyard tales we tell. 
Local heroes and tragic figures shared. 

Community folk remember the lost. 
recover our history, gain and cost. 
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